To the editor:
Thanks for your very well-written article about online sales tax in the Eagle Bulletin, March 29, 2017. I would like to respond: I own Serendipity: Antiques Artwork & Goodies, a small antiques shop in North Syracuse.
I find myself in competition with individuals like Mr. Penfield, except I work out of a building which I own, where I pay village tax, county tax, school tax, sales tax and income tax. I pay over $1,400 a year for liability insurance, as well as all the utilities, including snow removal, and building upkeep.
Individuals like Mr. Penfield don’t even want to pay sales tax, which they would simply collect. A vast majority of people who sell on the internet, work out of their home. They have no additional overhead. Many/most probably do not pay income tax on the profit from their sales. Many sell from the bedroom of their parents’ home.
When I attend an auction, I may find myself sitting next to an individual that sells on the internet. With their lack of overhead, they can drive the price higher than I can afford to pay with my overhead. I need to make a certain amount of profit, more than they
As a side effect, sales on the internet have driven down the resale of practically all antiques and collectible. E.g., a Hummel used to be $25 to $100 in the aftermarket; you would have to search antiques shops for your purchase. Now, practically all Hummels are less than $10, because they are so easy to find on the internet. This has hurt the dealer and the collector.
Even Sears may close their store here in DeWitt. People don’t get it — when Sears closes, everyone will have to pay a little more city, county and school taxes to make up for their not being around to pay the taxes. How much of your school taxes are paid by Amazon, or by any internet site?
Ten years ago, the state and federal government should have required the internet seller and the internet buyer each pay 20 percent to level the playing field for those that owned brick and mortar stores. At least 20 percent of my sales profits go to overhead. The sales site would just have to add a couple lines of code. The money would go to the state of the buyer and the state of the seller.
As Trump would say, “sad, so sad!” So, do something about it, Sen. DeFrancisco. Politicians like talking about things, so people think they will actually do something. I think their belief is that you lose more votes than you gain, when you actually do something. So they don’t do anything.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.